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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
lefthanded guitar Fairytale of New York censored by Beeb! (171* d) RE: Fairytale of New York censored by Beeb! 28 Dec 18


This thread promoted me to (re) listen to this song, which I always liked and still do. The use of the term faggot doesn't offend me b/c it is used in context ( as several posters here have already stated) as the quote of a character in the song. It is a fiercely beautiful and savage tale of the tangle of dashed hopes of love and life.   It is cinema in a song.

Randy Newman has faced similar criticisms in writing songs in the voice of dysfunctional, unlikeable and/or despicable characters - the redneck, the slave trader in Sail Away, even the song Short People , which some listeners literally took as a diatribe against short people ( instead of a ironic observation of bigotry in general) Some folks just don't 'get it' - thankfully Ray Charles did get it and recorded the definitive version of Sail Away.

These type of songs are more like short stories or plays, set to music , and should be regarded as such imho.

That said, time has give us a different perspective on hurling about bigoted insults.
If I were gay. I think I might take offense at hearing this term in a song, just as we are no longer as tolerant of calling people names like the n- word, giudo, kike, ragheads, red dots. etc. - especially if the words are hatefully used by a bigot. Anyone who wants to sing this song as pc, can easily substitute a word like ' maggot' - though I wouldn't change it myself.

I also wonder of some of the objection to the song stems from the fact that it can be perceived as a rejection of the spirit of Christmas. Well, in that case, they can take an ear to Jackson Browne's The Rebel Jesus. Which also examines the underside of this season of joy. I listen to both Fairytale and Rebel; and find them powerful and moving songs of the season- even as much as I look forward to the annual performances of O Holy Night, or The Christmas song by Darlene Love.

At any rate, glad the song was reinstated to the playlist. For whatever reason.


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